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The Waterfall UX Process: Everything You Need To Know

When developing mobile apps, we need to consider various project management approaches, such as the Waterfall UX process. After all, we retain users by utilizing methodologies and strategies for UI/UX that work. And we want to reduce the associated risks of creating apps via a well-thought-out Waterfall software development process.

But you may be wondering if this is the right methodology for your upcoming project or considering alternatives such as Agile. Well, we’ll shed some light on these matters and compare both methodologies below.

1. What Is The Waterfall Methodology

 

The Waterfall methodology is a project management paradigm initially used in construction and manufacturing but later adopted by software developers. All project tasks are split into phases that follow a linear sequence that flows downwards, similarly to a waterfall, hence the naming convention. It’s a fairly straightforward process but far more rigid than alternative models such as agile.

2. Does The Waterfall UX Process Work

 

Users expect modern apps to have intuitive and responsive UX. And a few ways to keep these users satisfied is by simplifying the user journey, organizing content, personalizing apps, adding biometric authentication features, and minimizing data input. But how does a development team hash out their UX process to create engaging apps? The good news is that the Waterfall methodology works incredibly well for UX, which many developers utilize.

A well-trodden Waterfall UX process works as follows:

  • Initiate research and determine all core problems
  • Categorize all these problems
  • Generate journey maps and personas
  • Hold brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas
  • Create a prototype and test it
  • Begin developing the product based on the prototype
  • Release the product
  • Gather user feedback and return to the first phase

Overall, this process brings about satisfactory results as long as the UX isn’t updated regularly. However, many design-led mobile app developers prefer to update their UX in shorter cadences. In such a scenario, a Waterfall process isn’t the most suitable methodology. Thus, a growing number of developers utilize Lean and Agile methodologies instead.

3. The Main Parts Of The Waterfall Software Development Process

 

A typical Waterfall software development process consists of either five or seven phases following a stringent linear sequence. The naming of phases may vary, but these are the commonly used descriptors:

Requirements – Project managers gather all necessary customer requirements during this initial phase. Then, without further customer input, the remaining phases in the waterfall sequence are planned out.

Design – Design consists of a logical design and a physical design phase. Logical design involves the brainstorming and theorization of solutions, while physical design necessitates the establishment of specifications based on these theories.

Implementation – The development team’s programmers start writing code based on the requirements and specifications from the above phases.

Verification – During the verification phase, the customer receives the finished product to review. The customer will then ascertain whether or not the product meets their requirements.

Maintenance – The customer regularly uses the product and gradually discovers bugs and other faults. Then, the maintenance team makes the necessary fixes based on customer feedback.

4. Pros And Cons Of Waterfall

 

The Waterfall software development process has several pros and cons that you should consider before commencing any upcoming projects. Unfortunately, the Waterfall model has gained an undeserved reputation among many developers nowadays. They often claim that it’s inefficient and outdated due to its rigid structure. However, it’s still widely used in enterprise, game, and mobile app development.

Waterfall’s clear structure makes it easy for developers to understand and complete tasks. And since tasks must be completed in sequence, this diminishes the possibility of unfinished and unpolished apps. Furthermore, if the developer can commit to a set release date, then it’s easy to predict the end goal and production costs.

On the flipside, Waterfall’s rigid structure makes it difficult to implement changes. Any sudden change or revision will likely derail the project and extend the time to market (TTM). Another negative is that the customer or end-user doesn’t have a say during the development process and provides valuable feedback that benefits the project. Finally, testing takes place near the end of the process, which may lead to costly and time-consuming revisions.

5. Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile

 

Whether in the canteen or around the water cooler, it’s common for developers to engage in Waterfall methodology vs Agile debates. Since neither methodology is better than the other, it’s difficult to settle on a clear winner. However, they both have several notable differences that are worth discussing.

We’ve already gone over Waterfall’s rigid structure, which makes it difficult to implement changes. Well, Agile is the complete opposite and allows for a more iterative approach at shorter time scales. However, do keep changes to a minimum to avoid a budget overrun. After all, Agile lacks the predictability of Waterfall, making it less suitable for determining cost and time factors.

While Waterfall’s ideal for projects with clearly defined end goals, this isn’t the case for Agile. Customers are often uncertain about how a project should turn out and prefer to determine the result through trial and error. Agile’s flexible approach facilitates user feedback throughout the development process and fine-tuning the project accordingly.

6. What Projects Work Best With Waterfall

 

Waterfall works best for smaller projects and those that have a fixed budget, release date, and scope. It’s also a good choice for any application that doesn’t require frequent updates. And the team structure of the developer may determine if Waterfall is the way to go. For example, if contractors and remote workers will also be contributing to the project, then Waterfall’s clean and straightforward structure makes it suitable. Moreover, the customer may not have the time or inclination to follow the entire development process and only wishes to see the finished product.

7. Should You Use Waterfall And Agile Together?

 

It usually makes sense to deliberate over Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile, especially when embarking on mobile app development. But sometimes, depending on the project, it may be necessary to embrace both methodologies. Ideally, you’ll want to form a hybrid methodology that combines the positive aspects of both models but without any of the negative.

By implementing the Water-Scrum-Fall paradigm, it’s possible to have a hybrid methodology that works effectively. Project leaders operate within the Waterfall paradigm, but the development team functions in an Agile environment and only integrates with the Waterfall structure via the Scrum team. However, it’s challenging to run Agile and Waterfall processes concurrently. But worthwhile if you’re employing Continuous Delivery in your DevOps pipeline for your app development endeavors.

The Bottom Line

 

The Waterfall methodology has played a significant role in software development for many decades. It may seem outdated, especially for newer developers accustomed to an Agile environment. However, Waterfall still has its place and can be made to work with Agile if necessary. Contact us now, and find out how NS804 can help bring your mobile app ideas to life.

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

How To Improve User Retention By Studying The Competition

It’s tough out there. The app marketplace isn’t what it used to be due to incredibly high competition. Considering that there are over 2.8 million apps on Google’s Play Store and around 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App Store, app developers and publishers have their work cut out for them. And the same old strategies that worked in the past seldom work in today’s digital marketplaces.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom if you adopt the right strategies for pushing forward the next generation of engaging apps. Firstly, you’ll need to accept that an app building competition isn’t a bad thing, as this creates new opportunities. Secondly, implement a solid ‘update app‘ strategy that causes the user to follow through. Thirdly, think about how to improve user retention since this will help in increasing your ROI.

Finally, never fear competition, as there are several effective ways to develop successful apps in the current climate. Below, we provide a few handy tips about studying the competition and using that to your advantage.

1. Better Understand Your Audience’s Needs

It’s no secret that you can’t tailor a user-centric experience if you don’t know your target audience. Thus, take the time to learn as much as possible about your current and future users. Find out their age, gender, language, location, occupation, devices, interests, and marital status.

Of course, you can delve deeper by finding out more about their behavior, habits, personality, and values. All this data will help you compile accurate user personas, which will give you a clear understanding of your audience’s needs.

2. Improve Upon Features Users Don’t Like

Even your most well-made app won’t please all your users. You may have released a messaging app that runs smoothly and boasts a ton of handy features. However, some of your users may find the available emojis unappealing and start looking for alternative messaging apps. Check out what your competitors are doing, and implement the necessary improvements when your users click the update app button.

3. Improve Overall UI/UX Design

Your production values make a massive difference in how users perceive your app. The quality of all your assets and overall UI/UX design will make or break the final product. All your visual elements, which may include menu icons, fonts, and the update app button, to name a few, are vital to your app’s success.

Furthermore, you should implement these five key elements for your UX design: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

4. Release More Purposeful Updates

Always delve deeper into how to improve user retention. It’s common for many developers to focus primarily on bug fixes for their update cycles. While this is good for app stability, many users may grow tired of using apps that don’t offer significant feature upgrades. With these regular updates, you ensure that your app remains modern and secure and that you care for your users.

5. Study User Feedback For New Ideas

Any app building competition can be a game-changer. Your users aren’t just using your apps, but also those released by competitors. That’s why it’s important to gather user feedback and study it carefully. Find out what they’re saying about your apps and those made by the competition. After gaining this valuable insight, discuss it with your team, and plan your upcoming updates accordingly.

In Conclusion

Learning how to improve user retention by studying the competition is a step in the right direction. You’ll need to follow a few important steps, such as understanding your audience’s needs, improving features users don’t like, improving UI/UX design, release purposeful updates, and study user feedback.

The result is an app building competition while engaging users. With years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve your business goals with professionally made apps.

The Ultimate Guide To Improving Mobile App UX

Elevating Mobile App UX

No matter the industry, the consumer or end-user generally has the ultimate power. Businesses and organizations, mobile app developers included, undoubtedly want to serve and gain as many customers or end-users as possible. Keeping this goal in mind highlights the importance of delivering an optimized user experience. To further this point, users will abandon mobile apps that deliver a poor mobile app UX within the first 10 minutes of use.

Mobile app design is, in and of itself, a beast of a task. Designing the user experience is no walk-in-the-park though. There are many aspects that a UX design team must consider when approaching the UX design. However, there is such a wide variety of elements to consider, it’s daunting to go into mobile app UX design without any guidance.

Therefore, successful UX designs stem from an understanding of the various aspects that need to be considered. The following guide outlines four pillars of UX design.

The Design Process

To begin the mobile app UX design process, there needs to be some semblance of an action plan to follow. Building a workflow for mobile app design helps streamline and standardize this process. The first step in realizing an idea for a mobile app is through the development of an MVP or minimum viable product.

The MVP serves multiple functions. One of the main purposes of an MVP is to provide a sample of what the mobile app will be to various focus groups. These focus groups then take a trial of the mobile app. From this trial, garner feedback that informs the rest of the mobile app design.

Through the testing process, mobile app designers gain valuable insights into the features that have been included in the MVP that users experience and trial. These insights will likely apply to a variety of elements such as the beginnings of the visual design, the actual features that are included, and the way the app addresses the problem that it is supposed to solve.

This a very important note to make. Any mobile app, no matter how big or small in scale, should aim to solve a problem. The way that the mobile app solves the problem needs to be evident in the MVP. Otherwise, focus groups, early adopters, and other test groups won’t be able to provide feedback on the actual core-functionality of the mobile app.

Elements of UX

Developing a strong MVP that yields positive feedback from test groups begins with the very first design stages. That includes understanding the actual framework of a successful and functional mobile app. Understanding the skeleton of a mobile app allows mobile app developers to ensure a design is comprehensive.

Two of these five core elements of mobile app UX design are: information architechture, and interaction design. These two aspects together organize the information of the mobile app in such a way that makes it accesible to the end user, and defines the various user-interactions within the mobile app.

These two functions are vital to building a high quality user experience. Information architechture is the way that information is both organized, and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, where do users need to navigate in order to perform certain activites within the mobile application.

Defining the information architechture will be important in building an easy to use and intutive mobile app. The interaction design, on the other hand, applies to the elements of the design with which users actually interact.

These aspects range from the text displayed, to the various symbols and any visual representations used (including brand logos), and other user-specific elements like device-preference. All-in-all the interaction design is a vital aspect of the mobile app UX.

Features to Include for a Strong Mobile App UX

In building a mobile app then, it’s important to identify where to start. This often happens on the back-end of things. The actual coding brings to life features in the mobile app.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Using history as a teacher, there is a library of features to include in the mobile-app design that are proven to benefit the user experience. Pulling from this pre-existing library will start your mobile app design off on the right foot. Ensuring the inclusion of important features.

Some of these features will streamline a process, while others just emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use. Therefore, these features include: platform-specific-design, a simple and swift onboarding process that users can get through without much difficulty, short forms, avenues for feedback, a live chat feature, and helpful navigation systems.

Platform Specific Design

Contrary to what might seem most intuitive, mobile app designers should build the initial design with a native-platform in mind. However, it becomes crucial to then create a responsive-design.

In other words, a responsive design will naturally convert itself to be optimal for any device and any screen size. designing apps with a responsive design is the industry standard, and significantly broadens the marketability of your mobile app. Responsive design also ensures that user experience is consistent between and across different devices.

Swift Onboarding

Users want to get to the crux of the matter. Dancing around introductory screens and a convoluted on-boarding process is almost guaranteed to send users running for the hill. While it is important to bring new users into the community that your mobile app has developed, it is also important to prioritize the time that users spend on your app.

Bogging down the user experience with a hefty or unnecessarily long onboarding process shows users a disregard for their precious time, and will send them to a competitor. Plus, the faster you get the user to their goal, the more likely they are to come back time and time again.

Short Forms

Gathering information from your mobile app users is just as important as delivering the actual functionality of the mobile app. In order to weave information forms into the mobile app that are both natural, and user-friendly; forms should be designed to be concise, and yield valuable insights into user demographics.

Understanding the most popular demographic that uses a mobile app will further inform marketing strategies, and other important aspects regarding the distribution of the mobile app.

Navigation

The navigation bar is a point of much debate in mobile app design. The two main types of navigation menus are: hamburger, or kabob. Both are viable and come with their own strong points.

Regardless of the style, mobile apps only need one main navigation menu. That way users know where to look.

Current Mobile App UX Design Trends

In addition to everything else that’s been covered, designers also need to consider current trends in mobile app design when developing a mobile app. The trends of mobile app design are forever in flux. Some of the popular design trends today, could very well fizzle out within the next few years.

However, keeping up to date with the latest in mobile app design trends will not only inform the initial design, but can also inform and direct future iterations of the mobile app. That ensures that future versions of the app include updates to keep the app relevant and aesthetically pleasing for each and every user on the app.

Start Developing UX with NS804

NS804 is the premier mobile app developer of the everyday person. Making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. NS804 will help bring your mobile app idea into reality. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, make sure to check back at NS804 for more valuable information regarding how developers can optimize the user experience.

How User Experience Affects Your Mobile App

The Effects of User Experience

Mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designer. Rather, mobile apps exist to serve a function. That function, however, can be virtually anything. Although, many of the successful mobile apps that exist aim to solve a specific problem for the end-user. The important note to take there is that mobile apps exist for the end-user. Therefore, optimizing the user experience is a priority.

The term user experience can refer to quite a variety of elements and aspects that a user encounters within a mobile app, or any application. These elements include visual design, interactive components, information architecture, and more. Because the UX is such a vast category when it comes to the design of a mobile app, its impact is also critical.

There are many reasons to prioritize user experience in mobile app development. From improving user-retention rates to a stronger user-acquisition strategy, the benefits of a positive UX speak for themselves.

User Retention

As is mentioned above, one of the key benefits of building and developing a high-quality user-experience within your mobile app is higher rates of user-retention. This is another pillar argument for prioritizing user-experience in mobile app development, as gaining end-users is the ultimate goal. After all, mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designers.

The mobile app market is super-saturated. That means that users have endless options to solve the same problem. Therefore, new users who have a bad experience with your mobile app, are very likely to jump ship and download a competitor’s app.

User Acquisition

In the same vein as user retention, is user acquisition. User acquisition actually comes before user retention in the mobile app lifecycle, as it’s the process through which new users first learn about, and join your mobile app. Since the visual design is one of the very first aspects of a mobile app that new users interact with; it makes sense that visual design elements are a significant contributor to user experience.

Build intuitive and user-friendly mobile apps that are aesthetically pleasing in order to reinforce your user-acquisition strategy.

Increased Efficiency

Beyond attracting new users or retaining existing users, strong user experience offers other benefits as well. Since a large component of UX is related to information architecture and usability, this furthers the argument for prioritizing well-designed user experience.

Building a strong information architecture means designing the mobile app in such a way that users get to their end-goal faster. This improves the efficiency that mobile app users experience.

Developing efficiency into a mobile app shows users that you respect them and their busy schedules.

A Final Thought

User experience has a wide variety of effects on mobile app success. From improving user retention rates, and developing a more powerful user-acquisition strategy, user experience is truly the backbone of any mobile app.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person. Dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before, and sharing the years of knowledge and expertise we’ve gathered. Visit NS804 today and start realizing your mobile app dreams.

What Will Make The Users Happy? Five Key Elements Of Great UX Design

There are many elements of mobile app design that need to come together for an app to be successful. One of the most important ingredients to building a strong mobile app that attracts a massive user-base is UX. UX, or user-experience, defines the way users interact and engage with the mobile app.

A great UX is certainly the product of five distinct key aspects. The aspects laid out here compose the five pillars of user-experience design. In following the principles of these five pillars, or five key elements of UX, mobile apps are sure to be user-friendly. In addition to being intuitive and user-friendly, mobile apps should also be built with efficiency and beauty in mind.

The large mobile app market makes UX even more important. More competition forces companies to think about the end-user first. With the user experience driving the core of mobile app design, the companies that provide the best UX will rise above the rest. These companies will perform better in terms of brand perception, overall user base, and other valuable metrics.

In fact, Springboard has the users’ needs as the number-one priority in UX. This shows how important it is to think about the user first in UX design.

The Five Key Elements of UX

Jumping into the five key elements of UX, the pillars of user-experience are defined, and a clear theme develops. The five key elements of UX design are:

  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Usability
  • Prototyping
  • Visual Design

Breaking these five pillars down further, the core components of each individual aspect involved in creating an excellent UX can be identified, and optimized. Therefore, optimizing the entire UX process from top to bottom. In taking a closer look at each of these UX pillars, it becomes clear that they all share one common thread. In each of these elements, it’s clear that the end-user is the priority in UX.

Information Architecture:

Guiding users to the information they’re searching for. Assisting users in the effective completion of tasks. This is what information architecture (IA) is all about. Usability.Gov defines IA as, “the organizing, labeling, and structuring of content in an effective and sustainable way.”

Structuring content in UX design is really an art form. Designers must consider many aspects. Aspects such as information location, and process-flow. These two aspects of the user-experience will dictate a lot of design factors. Therefore, designers must understand things like where users will look for information. Additionally, designers will need to understand how users will want to get things done within the app.

Interaction Design:

Interaction design is exactly that. The design of the interactions between users and products. In other words, this relates to the way that users engage with a mobile app. These engagements can also be broken into five distinct categories:

  • Words: Words are obviously any text that appears to the user. However, this category also includes system-messages, content-labels, and any other written content.
  • Visual Representations: Visual representations can be anything from color-schemes, to integrated media, and of course custom-design. This also relates heavily to branding. Designers should make it a priority to align color schemes and mobile-app visuals with the brand.
  • Physical Objects/Space: The physical objects category relates to the way users interact with the mobile-app. In other words, the platform or medium: Laptop, smartphone, etc.
  • Time: Time is a little bit more abstract, but it refers to the evolution of media contained in the app, or software.
  • Behavior: Finally this relates to the actual functionality of the app. How do users use the app, and what reactions do they have while engaging with the app?

Usability in UX:

In simple terms, usability means putting the design to the test. This refers to the data-collection process that happens when a UX has been significantly developed, and is ready for some real user-feedback. This data highlights important insight on design decisions previously made.

As a UX designer it is important to be the champion of the people, so to speak. This includes pointing out flaws, or user-frustrations in mobile-app UX. After finalizing the first version of the UX, designers can employ a myriad of tactics to gain real user-feedback. Some of these tactics include conducting lab-based studies, one-on-one interviews, tele-surveys, and focus-groups.

The data and user-feedback collected from these various data-pools will be extremely valuable in the ultimate design of the mobile-app. This feedback should influence decision making moving forward, updates to the existing UX, and bring about edits that likely should have been included in the first iteration.

Additionally, user testing provides key insights into how to market the product or mobile-app, and user behavior.

Prototyping:

Furthering the feed-back and design-finalization process, prototyping is an excellent, and cheap way to test product viability. Releasing a prototype is a great starting point as it provides a place for iterations. One can incorporate stakeholder feedback, and get real input on the functionality of their design.

This also enlightens and emphasizes and of the user-feedback that was garnered earlier in the data-collection stage from focus-groups, one-on-one interviews, and other data-collection tactics. Not only does the prototype allow for users to give additional feedback, it also offers a strong representation of what works and doesn’t work in the current design.

Prior to this stage, many of the design choices were probably based on theory, rather than practicality. Between the usability testing, and the prototyping stages, designers and mobile-app publishers should start to gain a good idea of where their design stands, and what needs improving.

Visual Design:

This is likely what immediately comes to mind when most think about UX. Visual design is a crucial aspect of an excellent UX, as has already been covered, yet it’s still only one of the five pillars that make up the principles of excellent UX design. The purpose, however, of visual design in UX is to provide the user with visuals that are both engaging and informative.

Visual design is important as it can establish a reputation for the mobile-app, and customers will start to recognize that brand. Visual design can also be extremely influential in the marketplace as far as determining demand for a product or mobile app.

For a long while, it was thought that mobile-apps had to be designed with one aspect or the other, aesthetics or useability. However, recent studies have shown that the two are actually in a positive correlation. More simply stated: the easier a mobile-app is to use, the more room there is for incredible visual design. Vice versa, an incredible visual design can actually improve useability, and guide the user through the process-flow, while also providing an engaging and aesthetically pleasing experience.

In UX design there are simply loads of variables to consider. Following these five pillars of UX design will ensure that your mobile-app, website, or any other design is both efficient, and intuitive. Providing users with a superb experience that stands out from the competition should be every designers goal.

NS804 has experience designing apps in nearly every marketspace, for nearly every type of user. Dedicated to making mobile-app design services more accessible than ever before, get in touch with NS804 today and get the conversation about your mobile-app idea started. NS804 offers additional help in designing an optimal user-experience, and top-to-bottom mobile-app design services.